II‐VI Inc. (NASDAQ:IIVI) has introduced a pluggable optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) for embedded network monitoring of carrier and data center networks, particularly within the context of software-defined networking (SDN). The second-generation device, designed to be plugged into XFP ports, is in the sampling stage, with general availability slated for the third quarter of this year.
Network operators will need characterization and continuous monitoring of the fiber plant as they roll out SDN-enabled capabilities, II-VI says. The pluggable OTDR fulfills this need via digital processing capabilities that enable the module to analyze data in real time. It also can be configured with an optical switch to monitor two fibers alternatively.
The new OTDR can enable equipment manufacturers to monitor fiber plant quality at system startup and during operation, II-VI says.
"The capability to permit an OTDR test simultaneously, with advanced early detection, fault location, and optical link loss notification, is critical in today's optical communications networks, especially when considering the need for software-based wavelength rerouting," said Stephen Montgomery, director of the Fiber Optic Component Group and president of ElectroniCast Consultants. "Pressures to improve service-level agreements are driving the use of embedded OTDR modules."
"Our highly successful embedded OTDR platform has been deployed in volume by multiple OEMs and carriers for over two years," added Dr. Sanjai Parthasarathi, vice president for product marketing and strategy, Optical Communications Group at II-VI. "We are breaking new ground with the introduction of a highly compact pluggable OTDR module, with instrument level capabilities that can be integrated in transport networks."
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